Introduction and Week One Video

Ladies and gents, welcome to my new experiment/project/show.  (No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke.)  It’s been a-brewin’ in my mind for some time now, but I only recently came up with the guts to actually attempt this thing.  Watch this first video for the introduction:

Boom.  There it is.  So now that you know the premise, check out the video below, which is the first week of fifty.

(For a much better viewing experience click on the HQ button once the video starts playing.)

And there he is.  Character number one.

(Once you’ve watched the video, read on, if you’re interested in the process.)

First off, a big thank you goes out to my friend Dylan Ricards who shot all of the park footage, and did a really great job with it.

So, how the hell did this guy come to be?  Brian was created through a series of improvisations.  The kernel for the character was a “What if…?” question (which it so often is for me); in this case, “What if someone took ‘tree-hugger’ to an extreme?”  From there, various permutations played out in my head.  Dendraphilia, of course, came to mind (I still don’t know how or why I know what that is), but I didn’t want it to be all about sex with trees; I wanted something deeper (is there something deeper than sex with trees?).  So I started thinking about why he is attracted to trees.  The idea that his relationship with trees was not merely physical, but emotional, psychological, and intellectual, was way more interesting to me.  What if this guy could, or believed he could (which amounts to the same thing when you’re playing it), communicate with trees?

Once I had that, I decided to work physically for a while.  I knew I wanted him to be gentle, and nice, so I went through a bunch of soft clothes (and I knew he would want to wear earth tones).  The brown corduroys were a good beginning, but when I found the soft, turtleneck sweater, I had it.  I put that stuff on, and started walking around my living room with the video camera on, trying to find his physicality, and his voice.  The sweater really informed the way he carried himself, and the way he carried himself informed his voice.  He was a bit too withdrawn, though, so I added the vest and bandanna, and brassed up his voice a little, and suddenly, there he was.  I sat down and improvised for a while with the camera on, allowing myself permission for it to be really, really bad, forced, and just dumb.  Some of the ideas that came out had a snowball effect, and I ended up working out a lot of his biography: where he was from, what he did, his past relationships, etc.  That stuff, in turn, would inform me more about who he is now, which lead me to get out of my head and into his.

That’s pretty much it.  The interview sections were based on the improvs I had done in days leading up to it (with some new stuff added in the moment).  The park footage was entirely improvised.

Thus ends my first entry.  What do you guys think?  Anything you’d like me to talk about, or talk about more/less? I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on this, so please leave a comment (the comment button is up at the top of this entry, for some reason).  I’m planning on adding a few written entries in between videos, so please keep checking back, and please spread the word.  Next video next Wednesday!

Thanks for stopping by,

4.1.09  3.45am

~ by 50in50 on April 1, 2009.

12 Responses to “Introduction and Week One Video”

  1. …lord knows the first of these would have to have some sort of sexual activity in it. i lost it at the end…

    well done sir.

  2. Great idea BR. Sufjan Stevens may never finish his albums for 50 states but I’m sure there’s enough insanity pulsing through your veins to keep this alive for a full year. Looking forward to Wednesdays even more now.

  3. Awesome, can’t wait! Hump Day anticipation for a year = Yay!

    Love you Brent!

  4. Hey, nice one Brent! I feel like you were channeling Judd Hirsch a bit there. Love the Brita, too. This is a great idea.

  5. so….i’m smiling.
    love the process.

  6. when we doing the next one?

  7. As Kevin was walking by, I had to explain, “well it was more understated at first, but now he’s fucking a tree” And I love any reason to say that. This was hilarious, dude – a great, and very believable start.

  8. Of course the tree fucker is a Jew! I can’t find where I read his last name, so I’m not sure if I’m just being insane Woody Allen-style Eitherway this project looks great.

  9. i think the tree genital mushrooms was one of the most original sex jokes ever! congrats, you’re a mad genius on the loose!

  10. The end was so unexpected and extremely funny. Awesome!

  11. Put up some videos of your outtakes while you were practicing. The Brita was hilarious. Meanwhile, my boss walked by as you were moaning, but I reassured him that it was nothing, just a YouTube video of a guy dry-humping a tree.

  12. Just started today following your posts. I am from Berlin, Germany, and after the first Video, I just can’t stop watching it now. Great job!

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